When was the last time you hung on or traversed the monkey bars (technically known as brachiation)? Are you able to do a push up with strength and ease? If so, can you do one with your hands in varying positions? Is being stronger and capable of doing things in daily life (such as easily opening jars and carrying heavy loads) important to you? As a child and younger adult, a lot of things that are difficult to do now came easily to me. I spent hours and hours twirling around, hanging and flipping off a bar in our backyard. Climbing trees was just a part of life – there was no thinking about it, just doing!!! A lot of things we do in our daily lives revolve around the health and strength of our shoulders.
Hanging daily may help prevent the need for shoulder surgery in later life. Follow a safe progression of hanging for overall upper body health. Start by simply holding on to a door frame with elbow pointing toward the floor. Lean body weight away from the frame. The closer your feet to the door frame, the more weight you are supporting. Start easy, and progress slowly to make sure tissues have had time to adapt. Next progress to a bar or railing at chest height. Soon you will have the strength of hang from an overhead bar. At first, support yourself with feet flat on the floor. Later with heels touching the floor out in front of you. Next you progress to hanging by both hands with both feet off the floor. Repeat the process with one-handed overhead hang. This is the most difficult. Go slow, and spend time with the easier versions so your tissues are properly prepared to withstand more pull.
Hanging can be done in many places.
".... not recommended for persons with unstable or dislocating shoulders, for those in precarious physical health or with severe osteoporosis (fragile bones). If you have shoulder pain that goes unexplained for several weeks, it is wise to obtain a proper diagnosis from your physician."
2013, John M. Kirsch, M.D., Shoulder Pain The Solution and Prevention